back to article Uncle Sam says 'nyet' to Kaspersky amid fresh claims of Russian ties

Kaspersky Lab is facing new restrictions from the US government to go along with a fresh round of accusations that the antivirus makers works closely with Russian intelligence. The US General Services Administration (GSA), the agency that handles government IT purchases and subscriptions, has removed the Russian software …

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Facepalm

Seriously? Someone has ties?

Hopefully, american businesses working closely with US government entities will be banned outside of the "homeland".

That sure would simplify things and increase overall manageability.

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Re: Seriously? Someone has ties?

Yup! I got ties, silk ones even; but I haven't needed to wear a tie since I retired. And curmudgeon that I am, I don't even wear one to funerals...

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Re: Seriously? Someone has ties?

With Putin actively waging cyberwar against the US and the West, this is an understandable move. I expect more to follow. You can be certain that security companies working for the Pentagon are not welcome e.g. in Iran.

Kaspersky needs to be purged throughout the West from government, as well as civilian infrastructure which are targets of Putin's cyberwar efforts.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously? Someone has ties?

I wonder how Kaspersky defines "inappropriate". That word adds a huge loop hole for the thing it's modifying, namely "ties".

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Re: Seriously? Someone has ties?

"Curmudgeonism" is one thing, showing a complete lack of respect at a funeral by being a selfish disk and not bothering to wear a tie on that ONE occasion is just highlighting the fact.

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Re: Seriously? Someone has ties?

""Curmudgeonism" is one thing, showing a complete lack of respect at a funeral by being a selfish disk and not bothering to wear a tie on that ONE occasion is just highlighting the fact."
Aaaah, the vile stench of cultural imperialism... The last couple of dozen funerals and weddings I've attended were largely devoid of formal attire (the funeral directors being the exception). Goths attending wore black of course, but how would we know they were Goths if they didn't? Scots and those of Scottish descent wore kilts, but showed no disdain whatsoever for those of us who eschew their idea of dress-sense. Only a complete twat would turn up to such an event dressed for a formal job interview in Australia.

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Anonymous Coward

Wonder to which campaign he contributed or failed to contribute...

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I guess paranoia runs rampant in the world lately. The answer to "whom do you trust?" is apparently "no-one".

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What rock have you been hiding under, these past 15 years? "Trust" has been a dirty word at least that long.

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Trojan Horse

"What rock have you been hiding under, these past 15 years? "Trust" has been a dirty word at least that long."
Obviously you never read Virgil's Aeneid.

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Childcatcher

Re: Trojan Horse

I suspect the tactic will work though. If your CEO asks your CTO for reassurance, would the CTO really risk sticking with Kaspersky?

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Paris Hilton

"whom do you trust?"

Well, given UK and USA intelligence are far more likely to be spying on me than the Russians, and that I'd be far more concerned about UK police battering my door in if I said or did something the UK government doesn't approve of than a police force on the other side of the world that doesn't give a shit about me, the logical answer would be Kaspersky.

Not that anyone has ever given any evidence of collusion as far as I can see and Kaspersky would have a lot to lose if they did.

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Re: "whom do you trust?"

"...Well, given UK and USA intelligence are far more likely to be spying on me than the Russians, and that I'd be far more concerned about UK police battering my door in if I said or did something the UK government doesn't approve of than a police force on the other side of the world that doesn't give a shit about me, the logical answer would be Kaspersky.

Not that anyone has ever given any evidence of collusion as far as I can see and Kaspersky would have a lot to lose if they did..."

Totally agree.

Also anyone else remember that Kaspersky have a habit of blowing the whistle on such things...wasn't it them that alerted the world to the equation group?

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Re: "whom do you trust?"

Agrree with h4rm0ny. You're far more likely to have problems with local surveillance simply because there's a much higher chance that someone geographically close may have a grudge and be in a position to cause you inconvenience. And even if the Russians are tagging you, at least they'd have to stump up a few quid for a translator.

The exception would be if you regularly handle public data/trade secrets; in which case you'd have to think carefully about connecting to anything anyway.

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Re: "whom do you trust?"

>if you regularly handle public data/trade secrets

Even more so, my competitors are far more likely to be American than Russian.

Logically I should only be using N Korean software - since I know they aren't bidding against me.

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Anonymous Coward

Good. Very good.

That is, if I were a criminal hacker looking to break into uncle sam's computers, that's how i'd feel. The less variety exists in the defensive measures, the greater is the likelihood somebody would be able to circumvent them without detection.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good. Very good.

Not only that, but my paranoid side tells me that Trump was requested to do that by the Russian government itself, since Kaspersky has refused to give in to their demands to "help" them with their cyber crimes.

That's a twofer, punishment and less security.

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As a licensed Vipre licensee...

I received an email alerting me to a blog telling me of the nefarious activities of Kaspersky. My response:

"You’ve called into question the scruples and modus operandi of Kaspersky and that raises the interesting question: Why? Most likely explanation is because your own scruples and modus operandi are questionable. As an ex-Kaspersky customer I will be terminating my Vipre license when it expires and most likely returning to Kaspersky there being no great differences between your respective products. Congratulations on the own goal…"

remains in moderation.

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Only in Russia

Good job there is no evidence of US companies assisting the NSA otherwise foreign governments might have to ban Microsoft/Google/Intel/etc

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Only in USA

Evidence does not cut the mustard here.

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Re: Only in USA

'Evidence' is anything written in the NYT, Bloomberg or WSJ, 'cos,,,,,,,, it must be true!

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Re: Only in Russia

"foreign governments might have to ban Microsoft/Google/Intel/etc"

I suspect it's in response to Russia insisting on foreign companies locating their servers in Russia if Russian serfs citizens are to use them.

Given that the US legal system is also working very hard to ensure that other countries follow Russia's example it looks as if the US govt. is going to end up banning a lot of products from around the world.

Did anyone say "trade war"?

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Childcatcher

Re: Only in Russia

...foreign governments might have to ban Microsoft/Google/Intel/etc

They did it first!

I am not really sure which they "They" is, but this is just the latest in a long chain of bans. Mostly, we hear about China, Russia and the US banning each other's tech. There have to be other examples that don't get the same amount of coverage. Perhaps India has banned Pakistani AV products. Maybe the Canadian government is harshing on Sri Lankan firewall imports. Any other real world examples?

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Re: Only in Russia

They should.

If I were say Airbus, I would be criminally negligent if I had data on a US server or on a US controlled platform when my US competitors were a major strategic asset to the US government

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Re: Only in USA

"'Evidence' is anything written in the NYT, Bloomberg or WSJ, 'cos,,,,,,,, it must be true!

FAKE NEWS unless it's on Fox first! Donald told me so it must be true.

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Photographic Equipment and Related Supplies and Services

GSA IT Schedule 70 and GSA Schedule 67 – Photographic Equipment and Related Supplies and Services

Well, I'd never have thought to look there for AV software...

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Anonymous Coward

In Soviet Russia Anti-Virus owns you.

Does Kaspersky have email protection? You know, viruses, trojans, malicious links and attempts to manipulate foreign elections?

Asking for a friends dad.

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"In Soviet Russia Anti-Virus owns you."
And if you're running Windows 10 you've been pwned by Microsoft. Welcome to the modern world...

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>>Does Kaspersky have email protection? You know, viruses, trojans, malicious links and attempts to manipulate foreign elections?"

Manipulation of foreign elections. Hmmm... off the top of my head:

* The CIA have been actively fomenting disorder in Syria since 2012 (on record) and spend about a billion dollars a year funding and training rebel groups there.

* The USA was actively agitating in the Ukraine before the Orange Revolution there which overthrew the elected ruler of the country (whether or not there was electoral fraud as claimed, we'll probably never know but the overthrow was pushed for by the USA).

* When the Palestinians democratically elected Hamas because their only alternative was the insanely corrupt and Israeli backed Fatah, the USA froze their bank accounts around the world, sanctioned palestine and said the Palestinian people must vote again and elect someone the USA approved of.

* President Obama all but explicitly endorsed David Cameron and the Conservatives before the 2015 UK election with numerous statements and photo ops.

You could, in fact, go on for a pretty long time listing out the instances of the US interference with elections in foreign countries. But Oh No Kaspesky!

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"Manipulation of foreign elections. Hmmm... off the top of my head:"
Not to forget the sacking of Australia's Whitlam government in 1975 engineered by the CIA as they have later admitted. That government's sins? Equal pay for equal work (i.e. women deserved the same amount of remuneration as men), abolition of university fees so the working class could (barely) afford to go university...

Nor forgetting the death on September 11 1973 of Salvador Allende during a coup engineered by the CIA. The list is quite long I'm afraid...

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Anonymous Coward

A Quick word

in the Pinocchio POTUS's Pater's Ear should soon fix it.

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You couldn't make it up for IT ...... but that is exactly the way everything is done?!.

And whenever Russia is not using the Kaspersky platform as an effective international spying source program, what does it tell them of the nature of US and western intelligence services and the media which creates their Great Game Show pictures for both daily and 0day presentation?

Please try harder, Uncle Sam/UKGBNI ....... you're obviously failing spectacularly.

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Re: You couldn't make it up for IT ...... but that is exactly the way everything is done?!.

And you surely know what happens in an intelligence vacuum? Smarter entities appear out of nowhere to make hay and ..... well, in some circles, create CHAOS and play Merry Havok with crumbling administrations in corrupting systems.

And all clearly before your very eyes and Five Eyes.

I Kid U Not. Such is the way of these things nowadays, believe it or believe it not.

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IT security and politics

In Russia everything is political so it would be an aberration if a big IT security company was not involved in politics.

It is a sad thing that the democracies are also sliding into this kind of pit...

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Re: IT security and politics

"It is a sad thing that the democracies are also sliding into this kind of pit..."
They were always there. Perhaps you need to read some William Cobbett.

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Should the GSA not have waited?

Surely they should have waited for Putin to tell Trump what he should be doing here....

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Coat

In the internal communications referenced within the recent article, the facts are once again either being misinterpreted or manipulated to fit the agenda of certain individuals

So, fake news then?

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Flame

Red under the bed!

"Are you or have you ever been a practising Pinko you damn Commie bastard?!"

It was this sort of Pinko-paranoia that forced British actor Charlie Chaplain to have to leave the US under a cloud.

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I think Kaspersky needs to be purged from all government agencies and civilian infrastructure, such as electricity, water, communications, transport etc. All of these are targets from the Russian cyberwar efforts and Kaspersky is just to high a risk to contemplate.

AV software is the best possible agent to carry a cyberwar payload, and there is no way to check this by looking at the current code.

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"AV software is the best possible agent to carry a cyberwar payload"

So not pushed Windows 10 updates then?

Or a complete lack of Android updates for many phones?

Or anything that involves interaction with Adobe software?

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Happy

Guess Kaspersky Wouldn't Fit NSA/GCHQ Accessories Such As . . .

backdoors, harddrive scanning etc.

Almost guarantees that Kaspersky sales will increase.

Or perhaps they want you to use the software named after that nutter who is wanted for murder in the Caribbean?

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"a humiliating blow to the Moscow-based biz"

I am not clear how it's a humiliating blow to Kaspersky that America is behaving like a bunch of wankers.

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Facepalm

Step One: Ban. Step Two: Discredit.

First the Feds ban Kaspersky products from their systems. Now you have The Big Lie under way, and can claim the result as prior evidence. Look, the US Gummint banned Kaspersky, they must be evil Rooskie spies!

So when Kaspersky Labs later uncover the scaly claw of the NSA et. al. behind a malware campaign or similar onerous deed, they can point to this and claim it's Russian-sponsored misinformation.

Demonize someone enough and nobody will listen to or defend them. It's straight from the Josef Goebbels Propaganda Handbook.

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Re: Step One: Ban. Step Two: Discredit.

They HAVE already uncovered the scaly claw of NSA behind malware campaigns - see their reports on "Equation Group".

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Coffee/keyboard

I'd probably still recommend Kaspersky..

However, even when I do, it is with one caveat. I always admit that I don't trust them. But if you are not a business that has Intellectual Property (IP) to guard, or government contracts, I also say you have nothing to lose in the first place. Most entities will never be a target of a serious Russian breach. One would be more worried about ransomware, which I doubt will ever be hosted by Kaspersky.

However I also tell them it will be VERY expensive and usually always results in system instability of some kind. If I were going to pay for an AV product I'd go with ESET, or if an Enterprise, SOPHOS, so that is my usual recommendation - but since most of my clients are indigent, I always recommend the free ware that is abundant and does the job good enough that the risk margin is pretty thin compared to paid for solutions. So any of these companies will certainly not be making much money off my recommendations.

Since I didn't hear it brought up though - seriously - if you are a large successful company in Russia, do you seriously think that a criminal oligarchy is not going to notice you? Does the media seriously think if Putin comes knocking on your door, you will see him out?

I didn't think so!!

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That's it...

...bash the US Government for a right to choose; yet cheer on a country which sensors it's citizens and wants to end the use of TOR and other applications. Way to see the big picture with such a narrow mind.

Fact is, the US DoD and other five-eye nations long ago banned applications from non-NATO countries, to include banning applications from Israeli owned companies. So making the move to encompass all government agencies isn't a real shocker.

Sure, Kaspersky has done a lot of good and it's R&D matches up with any other; however, if the Russian government insisted nefarious code or backdoors get inserted into some copies of their applications destined for certain government agencies what do you think Kaspersky will do? Yeah... duh. The hardest lies to detect are those consisting of 99% truth.

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